The caregiving road can make for a bumpy ride, no matter what your situation looks like. Each is oddly redundant and chaotic all at one time. It can be the same every day, but the caregiver must be ready for literally everything to change in an instant. It's easy to spend the day shifting gears and changing modes. It's so not-normal, and many times, it's easy to feel like it's not quite as pretty as everyone else's lifestyle.
For instance, when I take my son out in his chair, I feel like we stick out like a sore thumb, especially when there are any accessibility issues. It's one reason I stay home a lot! It feels like an ugly life. That's okay, though, because God doesn't run away from it like people do. God doesn't avoid the uncomfortable settings caregiving can create. I love that, don't you?
I was thinking along these lines about how life turns ugly now and then. But as I thought about it more, I realized that caregiving is actually the essence of beauty. Jesus said that there is no greater love than to lay one's life down for a friend. (John 15:13) Every single day, we lay down a piece of our lives for our loved ones. Most of the time, we don't even think about it being something we are losing. We do what we do because we love them. That's a beautiful picture of sacrifice.
As a matter of fact, it looks a lot like Him. Jesus didn't count the shame of the cross - because He was focused on the joy to come. (Hebrews 12:2) That joy - was us! Imagine that. In many ways, we do the same thing. We don't always think about what it costs us to be caregivers. We just press on into caring for those we love. That doesn't mean we don't feel the ambiguous losses, just like Jesus felt the cross. He was just focused on us like we are focused on our loved ones.
What a beautiful picture of love, endurance, and care. It's not an "ugly" picture at all, is it?
Today, I'll remind myself that Jesus didn't focus on the shame of the cross. He focused on us. On me. He endured the pain, knowing the beautiful ending was coming. Love is a beautiful thing, and I'll turn my thoughts to thinking about how He sacrificed for me because of His great love. I'll be grateful that God's love walks right into life's uglies and makes them beautiful. He loves us. He sees. He is with us in all those unmentionable moments. That's a beautiful life. I believe I can trust Him for one more day. Will you join me?